Scotland is a country north of England on the island known as Great Britain. It’s worth knowing that although the country has been united with the English since 1707, it’s very important that if you ever visit, don’t call them British. Celtic people arrived on the British Isles in the first millenium BC and spread to form the Britonic, Gaelish and Pictish people, who all hated each other for some reason. This lasted until 43AD, by which time the Romans were having so much fun conquering stuff they decided to make it a thing. The Picts proved very difficult to conquer, and the Romans were unable to invade the Highlands in an area called Caledonia. The name Caledonia probably originating from one of the Pictish tribes called the Caledonii. Emperor Hadrian of Rome built a fortified wall to defend against the Picts. By the time the Romans left in 450 AD the south of Britain was conquered by the Germanic Anglo-saxons. Scotland by this time was politically divided into four kingdoms: The Celtic Picts, Scotti and Alt Clut, and the Anglo-saxon kingdom of Bernicia. Scotland later shamelessly stole its name from the Scotti who were actually originally from Ireland. Bernicia eventually become Northumbria, and when the Vikings invaded it became the Kingdom of York. The Gaels in the picture united under a dude called Kenneth Macalpin to form the Kingdom of Alba. It is worthwhile to note that most of Europe were fighting against the Vikings in the 10th century. Scotland, not wanting to be left out, joined in. The Vikings were defeated in 927 by the newly-formed Kingdom of England who then continued to invade north into Scotland. The Kingdom of Alba, Strathclyde and Dublin united against the English but were defeated in 937. The two kingdoms made their peace and Strathclyde was annexed by Alba in 945. The next two centuries is basically war with England. Fast-forwarding to William Wallace. After the death of King Alexander who left no heirs King Edward of England appointed John Balliol as King of Scotland in 1292. Then Edward was like: To which John called up the French King and was like: And Edward was like: Then this guy named William Wallace says And kicks the English posterior all the way back to London. The English later killed Wallace and two more wars were fought, but the Scots eventually gained independence from the English in 1357. In 1371 King James III gained the Orkney and Shetland Islands in a dowry. He became engaged to Margaret of Denmark. Around this time Scottish Gaelic had died out to a regional language, largely being replaced by the Germanic Middle English. In the early 16th century Scotland became influenced by the teachings of Luther and Calvin, who were like: To which the Scots replied And so the Presbyterian church was born, solidifying Scotland as a Protestant nation. In 1603 Elizabeth I died without an heir, leaving her cousin, James VI, as King of England, Scotland and Lord of Ireland in a personal union. Time to get messy. James & his son King Charles attempted to create more political and religious unity among the three nations who couldn’t reach any compromises. Rebellions are sparked all over the Isles, which began the English Civil War and the War of the Three Kingdoms resulting in England’s victory and dominance in British politics. There’s a lot more to cover here, but the war was so needlessly complicated that there’s no way I could cover it in enough detail here. In 1707, after a failed attempt at colonialism by Scotland, the Acts of Union were passed between the English and Scottish to merge the two countries in a political union, forming the Kingdom of Great Britain. The Scottish economy and Parliament were dissolved and absorbed by London while retaining Scottish law and religion. The Union brought in a lot of money to the Scots, who became part of the growing British Empire. After a brief Jacobite uprising, Scotland saw growth and prosperity. In the 1800s Scotland prospered under the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution, to become a strong manufacturing economy. The Scots fought in WWI and WWII under the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1999, Scotland was granted devolved powers. a step towards independence while remaining in the Union. The Scottish National Party became the majority government in the Scottish Parliament in 2011 and a referendum was held on Scottish independence in 2014. Scotland voted to remain part of the United Kingdom, along with being granted further devolved powers. In 2016, after Scotland voted to remain in the European Union while the rest of Great Britain voted to leave, Scotland has shown increased support for a second independence referendum to be held within the next two years. Where shall we go to next? Comment below, and don’t forget to like and subscribe. We’ll see you next time.